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Track an Animal

By Rebecca P. Cohen

This blog is a monthly series from mom and author of 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids, Rebecca P. Cohen of

Depending on where you live, right now there may be snow, ice, or mud. Regardless of the weather conditions, each of us can have similar fun when it comes to noticing wildlife.

Here’s an idea for outdoor adventure any day of the week and in any weather:

We all know about finding tracks, but what about following them? It sounds slightly scary and exciting at the same time. My five-year-old and I followed some tracks in the deep snow that led around a path; they looked like small boot prints.

After following the tracks into the woods, we came upon a spot where the snow was cleared and there was lots of deer scat. That’s when we realized that the tracks must have been from a herd of deer! We couldn’t wait to trek back home and tell the rest of the family about our adventure!
—Excerpt from 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids by Rebecca P. Cohen (Sourcebooks, March 2011)

We’ve followed raccoon prints in mud, squirrel prints in ice, and deer and dog tracks in the snow. If you don’t see any tracks, get your boots on and create your own! Take turns making paths for one another to follow.

Want more tips? Subscribe for free at to receive my monthly newsletter, Learn Outside, created for parents and educators.

Copyright 2010, 2011 Rebecca P. Cohen

Rebecca P. Cohen is a gardening and outdoor lifestyle expert and author of the upcoming book 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (March 2011, Sourcebooks). The daughter of educators, Rebecca left the corporate world after 15 years to teach families gardening and equip them with fun outdoor ideas that keep them healthy and connected year-round. She is also host of Get Out of the House, vignettes that show fun ideas for family time outside and reach 23 million households on Resort and Residence TV. Rebecca’s work has been featured in Family Circle magazine and on Rachael Ray’s website, Yum-o!, for her planting events with schools. Rebecca is also a spokesmom for the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement. For more information, visit

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